A solid empirical result is that voters reward governments for recent economic prosperity. This column presents new evidence that the electoral fate of governing parties is also associated with the electorate’s wider ‘subjective well-being’. Policymakers who want to win should focus on more a broad range of factors that matter to the quality of people’s lives.
Our level of income is unarguably dependent on where we live in the world. But evidencing this is tricky. This column presents a model that explains global income variability using one variable only – where you live. The results suggest that we might want to reassess how we think about both economic migration and global inequality of opportunity.
Indian children are more likely to be malnourished than their counterparts in Sub-Saharan Africa, despite higher standards of living. This column uses data on child height – an anthropometric measure of net nutrition – from Africa and India to explore how parental gender preferences affect the likelihood of children being malnourished. Indian firstborn sons are found to have a height advantage over African firstborn sons, and the height disadvantage appears first in second-born children, increasing for subsequent births. This suggests that a preference for a healthy male heir influences fertility decisions and how parents allocate resources between their children.
China’s export-led growth has coincided with the country becoming one of the largest net global creditors. This column looks ahead to the next chapter of Chinese ‘outwards mercantilism’ – FDI investment in natural resources, commodities and mining bundled with access to finance and the export of Chinese capital products and labour services.
The evidence about the effect of bribery on economic growth is mixed. Some find it harmful while others believe it helps via a ‘grease the wheels’ effect. This column argues that the ambiguity can be explained by divergent effects of the mean and dispersion of corruption. A high bribery-mean retards productivity growth of firms, but a high bribery-dispersion facilitates performance of weak firms.
Other Recent Columns:
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- Making Japan a place where women can shine
- An assessment of the state of the world economy
- Insurance in extended families
- Tilting the playing field: Multinational firms and preferential market access
- Asymmetric information and imperfect competition in lending markets
- Workers’ earnings risks: Evidence from 200 million observations
- Measuring public panic in the Great Financial Crisis
- Commodity booms and busts: Evidence from 1900 to 2015
- The coming defaults of Greece
- The effects of top tax rates on superstar inventors
- Good and bad news coverage: Typhoid in the 1900s
- Central bankers as supervisors: The bandwagon effect
- Why risk is hard to measure
- Female executives and gender wage gaps
- Lenders’ incentives to avoid fire sales
- The preferences of FOMC members
- Secular Stagnation in the US
- Debt supercycle, not secular stagnation
- Value vs growth stocks in normal and crisis times